The iconic superstar Lizzo is a rapper, singer, 3x Grammy Award-winner, and now executive producer of her own reality TV show, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, premiering March 25th. In addition, she’s filled with advice when it comes to self love and practicing self care.
I got to see Lizzo in real life at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas a few days ago. She’s on a crusade to rewrite negative stereotypes related to body image, promote body positivity, and help people to accept and love themselves. She leads by bold, brash, outspoken example. And an infectious, joyful laugh.
Self Care is Physical & Mental
According to Lizzo, many people think self care means taking bubble baths and other care for the body. While she’s in favor of those, she says the “real work” is about liking yourself as a person.
“It’s OK to practice radical self care,” she told the SXSW audience. “And you have to understand that self care is about self love, and how you feel about your body and mind. You have to believe ‘I’m valuable, I’m worthy.’”
Lizzo believes we can reset our minds when we get comfortable moving our bodies and begin to feel at ease in our own skin. On a related note, her new series showcases “Olympic level” dancers competing with each other.
For the show, Lizzo recruited plus size models and dancers with positive attitudes. She made it clear that she won’t be making them feel bad through a series of progressive eliminations, as many reality TV shows do, and that the show will have a more positive storyline.
Why Do We Struggle to Take Care of Ourselves?
As Lizzo says in the trailer for Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, “It’s hard to love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back.” She remembers being humiliated daily as a kid on the bus to school, where other kids taunted her with insults like “fatass.”
Especially when you’re constantly told you’re not good enough, it can be hard to change your thinking, even if you achieve significant success. As Lizzo said in Austin, many people, especially women, struggle with imposter syndrome: believing that you’re not as competent as others perceive you to be.
Lizzo has advice for women: “Don’t be hard on yourself. Society doesn’t set you up for success—especially if you’re Black, especially if you’re a larger body size. You are IT. You are that bitch.”
And yeah, she’s reappropriated "bitch," so it's a good thing. (Cue the song "Truth Hurts.")
Good Self Care Strategies
So how can you use self care to heal and grow? Lizzo led me and the other audience members at SXSW through an exercise in self love. She asked us to close our eyes and imagine a mirror, and then repeat after her, speaking to our imaginary selves:
I love you
You are beautiful
You can do anything
Then she asked us to turn to somebody else in the audience and say the same words to them. If you can love yourself, you will be better at loving others. Lizzo says her personal crusade is to make the world better for the people who come after her.
Building on self love, the following are a few other well-proven ways you can practice good self care:
Eat well. There are many approaches, but a plant-based diet is proven to have strong health benefits. For example, you can try Lizzo's favorite vegan recipes. It's also good to start your day with a solid breakfast.
Sleep enough. Most people need about 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, but needs vary based on age and genetics. Sleep is critical in boosting the immune system, increasing performance, and improving long term physical health.
Move regularly. Generally, most adults need 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise per week, which can help you control blood pressure, avoid injury, reduce stress, and feel good. Just fitting in 30 minutes of movement every other day can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Socialize with friends and family members. Social time is important for physical and mental health. It helps you boost your mood, and research shows it can decrease stress hormones, and minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to preventing or helping you to manage heart disease and other conditions. (PS - Socializing with your pet counts, too!)
Meditate. Meditation is fairly simple and inexpensive, and doesn't require outside tools. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can be a great way to stay calm and restore a sense of inner peace.
Invest in a life coach. A life coach can help you realign aspects of your life that may not be top of mind, from reconsidering your career goals to decluttering your closet. Here are some tips for finding a good fit for your needs.
Schedule time for self care. Take a deep breath, stretch, or pour yourself a cup of tea. It's important to fit self care into your calendar in advance so you're not tempted to skip it.
In case you missed it, AdaRose has recently started a waitlist for our virtual self care experience, consisting of a combination of skin care and soul care. Sign up to get exclusive perks and be the first to try it out!
What are your favorite self care strategies?